Bringing the Text to Life
A recent USA Today (September 16, 1994) article prescribed an interesting course of treatment for medical professionals. In order to make patients feel better about their doctors and doctors feel better about their patients, some analysts are suggesting acting lessons.
As accomplished actors, physicians who find themselves too swamped, stressed-out and suspicious to really feel any compassion for their patients can at least act like they care. The ultimate goal of these acting lessons is the hope that by teaching doctors to respond as if they are emotionally connected to their patients, these doctors may come to genuinely feel the compassion and care they have been acting out. The USA Today study did keep its feet planted firmly on the ground of reality, however. It admitted that surgeons were a lost cause.
Actually, this suggestion is not as silly as it seems. After constantly dealing with needy, hurting people, all members of the "helping professions" tend to build up a...